War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0115 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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my skirmish line, was seen advancing across the open field. I formed my command so as to give the men a good range of that part of the enemy's line of skirmishers which extended beyond the left of my line of skirmishers. A few volleys fired by my command caused the enemy to withdraw. Just at this moment I discovered that the whole infantry command, with the exceting. In a very few minutes Colonel McMillen, in person, ordered me to hold my position until all of the regiments should have crossed a creek and swamp to our rear, to the end that they might have time to form a new line of battle about half a mile in the rear. By the time the last regiment had crossed the enemy was advancing from the right, left, and front of my position, and it was almost by chance that my regiment escaped being captured. After crossing the creek and swamp Colonel McMillen ordered me to march my regiment along with the train, keeping the right- hand side of the road. This I did until I arrived at a house on a ridge about half a mile to the rear of the battle- field, where General Grierson suggested that I should station my regiment behind a rail fence to protect the train until it should all have passed this point. This suggestion I considered a good one, and immediately formed my regiment in line on the right side of the road, where I remained until the last wagon had passed. Again I moved my command to the rear, keeping the right- hand side of the road as directed. We had gone but a few rods when the teamsters, near the middle of the train, began to destroy their wagons by setting them on fire, thus blockading the road so that all the wagons in the rear of those destroyed had to be abandoned. Seeing that no new line of battle was established and that all the rest of the command were continuing to retreat, and receiving no orders from my superiors in command, I continued the march to the rear until I arrived on the hill on the north side of the Hatchie bottoms, where I ordered my regiment to halt, intending to allow the men a rest of about an hour, as they were getting very much fatigued, having marched about eight miles from the battle- field with- out rest. The regiment had hardly halted when an aide to General Sturgis, in the name of the general, ordered me to keep up the retreat still farther to the rear. In obedience to these orders I again moved my command to the rear, until I arrived on the ground where my regiment had bivouacked the night previous. My men, overcome by fatigue, having marched some twelve miles from the battle- field with- our rest, I ordered a halt, intending to remain until I should receive orders from some of my superiors in command. About half an hour afterward Colonel Waring's brigade of cavalry came up, and the commanding officer ordered me to move my command to Ripley. I inquired by what authority he gave me such orders. He replied, "By order of General Sturgis. " Again I moved my command to the rear, and came creek about six miles south of Ripley, which I did, arriving there at 5 o'clock the following morning, having in twenty- three hours marched a distance of thirty- eight miles, and engaged the enemy two hours.

At a little before 7 o'clock Colonel McMillen sent an aide (Lieutenant Livings) ordering men, as the senior officer of the brigade then present, to immediately move the brigade on the Salem road, following the cavalry, with instructions to have the armed men organized so as to be available at a moment's warning. Only three regiments were in motion before Colonel D. C. Thomas, Ninety- THIRD Indiana Infantry, came up and assumed command. After marching about two miles, Captain Fernald,